I have always painted. My family includes a lot of artists, so it’s in the genes. From a young age all I wanted to do was to study art history, so that’s what I did at University. I was in the very first intake of art history students during the earliest years of the University of East Anglia, which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2013. That led to a career as a picture researcher, starting out at Thames & Hudson. I was like a kid in a candy store, surrounded by fabulous art books, actually helping to make them and working with creative colleagues.

A freelance picture research career made it very hard to fit in painting. Then one day my husband said I could depend on him a bit more to give me a day off a week to go to art school. That was the Hampstead School of Art, where I flourished and finally gave up the day job to paint full time. I did a lot of portraits, mostly in pastel. Now I prefer to do them in watercolour.

The place that inspires me most is Norfolk. It was where I was born and grew up, where the landscape is open, the skies are big and the air is bracing. Water is a favourite subject – my grandmother had a big round lake where I learned to swim (see http://www.seamere.com/). Now I live by a river, full of fish and fowl, which floods in winter and engages my soul. When winter dawn comes up across the water meadows, I sit in the half light doing lighting sketches from my bedroom window, trying to capture that elusive landscape. You will find some of these in Landscapes: Norfolk.